Most professionals crave to show the world their intelligence, value, and talent. But it’s almost impossible for professionals to have an impact if they do not know how to use critical thinking skills. But how do you apply critical thinking skills to your job?
You can’t use critical thinking skills by following the crowd, going with the flow, copying what others do —or allowing others to do your thinking for you.
You need to develop a rational approach —a thinking framework— to tackle your work and ask the right questions.
In his bestseller, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman elaborates on how to use critical thinking skills. The Nobel-winning professor explains professionals can develop two separate systems of reaction depending on the context at hand. ‘System One’ is a quick, emotional, almost reflexive reaction, while ‘System Two’ has a more analytical, calm, well-thought approach.
But the secret to your success lies in knowing when to employ the right system to react accordingly or make the right decisions.
Keep in mind applying critical thinking has several aspects to it and requires that you use clear strategies and a metal framework to:
- Seek to understand your work or project context
- Understand objectives, key concepts, and project plan in its entirety
- Analyze situations from various angles
- Evaluate data and evidence without sugarcoating the truth
- Reverse interpret when things appear too complex, confusing, or messy
- Question your assumptions and biases and form your opinions based on your observations and data
- Execute or take actions
More Insights on How to Use Critical Thinking Skills
For instance, Billionaire David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital had openly admitted in an interview that he considered the key factor behind his burgeoning success to be his “critical thinking skill.”
Once you set up a proper thinking system or framework for applying critical thinking and practice daily, you can focus on reinforcing your critical thinking and analytical skills.
Elon Musk has mentioned his work-life philosophy is based on reasoning from ‘First Principles.’ ‘First Principles’ thinking consists of deconstructing situations or problems to their very fundamental levels or components, analyzing the parts, and creating solutions from scratch.
The following three-step method guarantees personal and professional success.
- Locate specific beliefs or situations.
- Divide and deconstruct them into their basic level or parts.
- Develop new solutions from level zero.
Applying proper critical thinking skills is necessary. It is the need of the hour, especially if you wish to remain relevant in the 21st Century.
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